Face in the Crowd

Copied Alex Prager, Face in the Crowd, 2013, three-channel video installation, color, sound; 11:52 minutes, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2016.29.1, © 2013, Alex Prager

Artwork Details

Face in the Crowd
Not on view
© 2013, Alex Prager
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums Description
three-channel video installation, color, sound; 11:52 minutes
  • Figure group
Object Number

Artwork Description

Alex Prager draws inspiration from the rich color photography of William Eggleston and the Southern California moviemaking industry. Her studio mirrors that of large-scale film productions, resulting in the works that project a distinctive Hollywood aesthetic. Littered with parodied clichés of popular cinema and renderings of narrative tension, anxiety, and suspense, Face in the Crowd traces a spectrum of concerns: a fear of crowds and the desire to stand out among them; voyeurism and exhibitionism; the spectator's gaze; and the inability to live up to expectations. This work showcases the anxiety of being swept up by the masses while trying to create and maintain a sense of self--conditions long present in the physical world--amplified in the virtual spaces we inhabit today.


Media - 2016.29.3 - SAAM-2016.29.3_1 - 124404
Watch This! New Directions on the Art of the Moving Image (5.0)
September 8, 2016March 6, 2017
Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image is a series of rotating exhibitions drawn from SAAM’s permanent collection. The works of art featured in this installation identify a complex relationship between still photography and moving images. These artistic engagements with captured and recorded pictures examine notions of storytelling and processes of interpretation, underscoring just how relative meaning can be, and urging viewers to question where the power of imagery might reside. Taken together, the arrangement traces a vibrant call and response between artists and pictures, narratives, and interpretation.